SEATTLE — Shocking surveillance video outside the King County courthouse Wednesday morning show a suspect attacking a lawyer and a bus driver before a deputy uses a Taser on him.
Judges are now calling for major changes to make the area safer.
The video shows just how suddenly the suspect attacked. The defense attorney was walking toward the King County courthouse when a man started punching him, shoving him into a fire hydrant and forcing him into the road.
"It's so outrageous and there is simply no security down here," King County Superior Court Presiding Judge Jim Rogers said. He is frustrated with all of the assaults that keep occurring outside the courthouse.
Last year, KIRO 7 reported on another man randomly hitting people in the same block.
In 2017, a man reporting for jury duty was attacked.
In between, judges and courthouse staff have reported or witnessed dozens of assaults.
"I have to commend the King County Sheriff and Facilities and Management but we haven't seen Seattle Police for a long time," Rogers said. "I really think that the city council needs to take some action on what's going on."
The video shows a bus driver hopping out of his bus to help the attorney, and it appears that there is a standoff for several seconds.
Suddenly, the suspect attacks again, punching the attorney and also the bus driver from different angles.
Then, a court marshal runs out of the courthouse and uses a taser on the man, whom police identified as 26-year-old Frank Amos Hypolite. He falls to the ground.
KIRO 7 discovered that Hypolite has been arrested four times before in the last two months for trespassing and for assault across the street from the courthouse at the DESC shelter.
Police say in October he attacked "without warning," punching several victims.
Hypolite pleaded guilty, was sentenced November 4th, and received a deferred sentence, meaning he was let out of jail.
"I think it's a horrible situation," bus rider Asya Gubskaya said of Wednesday morning's attack. "I don't feel very safe being downtown."
"I avoid the whole area, the courthouse and everything around here," bus rider Andres Diaz said.
Judge Rogers acknowledged that SPD is working hard to hire more officers, but said the situation is unsafe for everyone who visits or works at the courthouse.
"Where is justice if people are too afraid to come to the courthouse to have their case heard?" Rogers asked.
In addition to more officers, he is also calling for other changes, like reopening the courthouse's 4th
Avenue entrance full-time and moving the King County Metro stops north by one block.
Both the attorney and the bus driver, who has served 15 years with King County Metro, are expected to recover.
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